Phailin Janthagee, 13, from the Baw Keow Student Center (TH-285), is observing Monticha Tongperng, one of the senior DJs who runs a youth radio program called Puen Kan Wan Sao (Friends Together on Saturday).
"Good morning! This is Nong Per on Puen Kan Wan Sao" (Friends Together on Saturday).
The cheerful voice of 13-year-old Nong Per wakes up people in a small mountain village on a sunny Saturday. Her voice echoes, opening her neighbors' eyes and minds to a world of knowledge and entertainment.
The youth radio program in which Nong Per participates not only provides knowledge for residents in the Baw Keow sub-district but also gives Compassion-assisted children a chance to develop their communication skills and to share the gospel.
"Disc jockey" and "announcer" are two of the most popular careers among Thai teenagers. About 25 children, ages 11 to 18 in Mae Yang Ha village, where the Baw Keow Student Center (TH-285) is located, have been trained for a youth radio program broadcast on weekends. Eleven of these children are from the Compassion-run center.
"I've got a lot of benefits from the program, including improved speaking skill(s) and increased knowledge," said Phailin Janthagee, a DJ trainee. Another junior DJ, 12-year-old Inthanon Morprae said, "At first I could not speak fluently but now I am far better. I have improved my reading and am more outgoing." Both are Compassion-sponsored children.
To provide up-to-date information for their audience, these children constantly seek new knowledge. However, their resources are limited to books in the project's library, newspapers and health-related information provided by the government's Primary Health Care Division. In the future, the project plans to install an Internet connection so the children will have access to more information.
Sorachat Sirichonkamas, project director at the Baw Keow Student Center, reported that the youth radio program has had numerous benefits for Compassion children. "Their language skills are improving," Sirichonkamas said. "They are also learning how quickly and effectively the mass media can spread news. They are happy and proud of the response they are receiving from the public.
"Though not every child has a talent for speaking," Sorachat adds, "such activity is a good experience for children. It helps them discover themselves and begin to think about their futures."
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